Customers are the most important cog in your business. Without them, you don’t have a business. But, despite all the tools we have today to create emotion-rich experiences for buyers, many marketers still struggle to understand their customers and what they really want. This just doesn’t cut it any more, particularly when consumers are actively seeking out connections with the brands they purchase from rather than one-off buying frenzies.
Emerging technologies have completely changed the buying process. Consumers are more active and savvy than ever before and tend to carry out their own research before buying instead of blindly believing the polished words of ads like they did in the past.
Source: Super Office
This means the fate of marketing campaigns and intricate sales funnels lies in the hands of the buyer. As a result, brands are putting their customers at the center of their marketing and sales strategies, and using knowledge gleaned from their buyers to fuel future campaigns – something that is known as customer obsessed marketing.
During a DMN webinar, Shar VanBoskirk, Principal Analyst at Forrester, said “two-thirds of companies know that customer expectations are higher and think that their businesses are doing something to accommodate those changes.”
But despite this, further Forrester research shows that only 13% of companies are actively taking steps to focus more on their customers. With this in mind, you can easily put yourself head and shoulders above your competition simply by listening to and learning about your buyers.
Customers Control Modern Marketing
Customer obsessed marketing places the customer at the heart of a business, where everything – from the sales funnel to the marketing campaigns – revolve around them.
Instead of creating campaigns that have been thought up in the isolated confines of your business boardroom, customer obsessed marketing uses data and insights from real life people who buy from you to build ads, stories, and content that has them in mind at all times.
This means getting to know your customers, learning about their goals and challenges, and using those to create narratives in your marketing that build empathy and relationships.
If you don’t listen to your customers and make them a priority, they’ll have no problem taking their business elsewhere.
Source: Super Office
Why Customer Obsessed Marketing is So Important Today
Yes, customers are savvier than ever before, but they also expect brands to know their wants and needs and want them to nurture relationships based on those.
Despite the surge of technology and the digital world we live in, consumers crave meaningful interactions with brands. Sure, they might spend all day looking at a screen or scrolling through the latest app, but they still want those human-to-human connections that make them feel special and heard.
How to Create Your Customer Obsessed Marketing Strategy in 4 Steps
Now you know why having a customer obsessed marketing strategy is important, let’s dig into how you can put it into practice.
1. Customer Understanding
First things first, you need to get to know your customers. This goes further than simply finding out their basic demographics, like age, gender, and location. Instead, you want to dig into their values, habits and challenges as this will build an emotional connection and help you really get to know what they want and need from a brand like yours.
To do this, you can send out surveys to your email list, ask customers for reviews, and carry out your own research on social media and forums to see what your customers are talking about and the kinds of conversations they’re having.
Additionally, you can collect feedback from them while they’re on your site to gauge their loyalty. In fact, a good metric to use here is Net Promoter Score, which often measures how likely your customer is to recommend your brand to others. It will help you gauge who your promoters (those positive about your brand) are and who your detractors (those less positive about your brand) are and why.
2. Position Your Solution
Once you know what your customers want and need from you, you can position your product or service as the perfect solution.
This is what’s known as your Unique Selling Point (USP) and it’s what makes you stand out from your competitors. Without knowing your audience, it’s difficult to position your product right and you’ll struggle to see many sales.
3. Make Your Customers the Star of the Show
Now it’s time to celebrate your customers. The power of peer-to-peer recommendations is thriving more than ever thanks to social media where anyone can connect with everyone.
If you really want to create a customer obsessed marketing campaign, the easiest way is to literally put your customers in the middle of it. That means showcasing their photos and videos of your product, adding their stellar reviews to your website, and sharing their stories on social media. It also means putting their feedback first and using that feedback to create an online customer journey that is smooth and engaging.
Source: Social Media Today
The words that come from your customers’ mouths (or keyboards) are incredibly valuable. The content you generate from them alone will provide you with a solid collection of authentic material to use across different platforms.
4. Feedback and Tweak
And lastly, the most important part of the process… It’s very rare for a brand to get their customer obsessed marketing strategy right the first time. Instead, you can learn from and tweak your campaigns to make them bigger and better than ever before using customer feedback.
Dig into data to determine what content is performing the best. You can do this by using feedback from surveys to improve the online customer experience whenever they come into contact with your brand. This includes your online content, website usability, website design, sales funnels (e.g. purchasing and checkout process) and more.
For example, you can use commonly recurring feedback from your customers to create informative content that improves customer service; think things like an FAQs page, how-to guides, and instruction manuals for using your product or service.
Are You Customer Obsessed?
Customer obsession is Amazon’s number one leadership principle. A brand this big didn’t get to where they’re at now by ignoring their customer’s wants and needs. They thrive on personalized recommendations and creating a unique experience for each and every customer, but you don’t have to start out big with a customer obsessed marketing strategy.
Firstly, get to know your customers and then you can start creating stories that really resonate with them – and remember, don’t forget to listen.
About the Author
Ryan Gould is the Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services at Elevation Marketing. A strategic marketing and branding expert, Ryan helps Elevation’s clients solve their problems and achieve their business goals through integrated marketing solutions distinguished by research, storytelling, engagement and conversion. With a proven track record of energizing brands and having worked with a variety of Fortune 500 companies, Ryan is a respected expert in achieving consistent results through creative design, thought-provoking narratives and innovative problem solving.
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